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  • Writer's pictureashlynnmalia

February 2023

Folks, its February - how are we doing? I feel like this month has mixed reviews, and they tend to depend heavily on where we’re at in our love journeys. How do y’all feel about Valentine’s Day?? I’ve never spent a single valentines day with a “special someone” and I wholeheartedly don’t think that’s ever been an issue, even as a hopeless romantic. I haven’t felt less, or lacking, maybe because I never believed that having a romantic partner added or subtracted from my worth (but being in the actual relationships themselves tho, PHEWWWWW I’ve got a lot to learn to say the least). It’s never hit me that hard being single, I don’t think. Especially because February highlights love, period. Familial love, which I feel grateful to have. Friendship love. And a newly developed self love, that then turns into love towards strangers, and towards my environment. Looking through a lens of love, you could say.. Last year I had the literal best fucking february 14th. I took myself out to lunch, bought myself gifts, journaled and just adventured around LA. The day ended at the beach, I watched the sunset and then had a long drive home, where I wondered to myself why on earth we decided to make Valentine’s Day during Aquarius season? Aren’t aquarians typically one of the more heartless signs? Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not an expert.

Anyways back to the present. I’m (surprise surprise) sitting at a coffee shop writing this. I’m supposed to meet a friend somewhere else kinda soon, but the coffee is better here than where we’re meeting so I’ve ordered some. There’s a smell here that brings me back to 2016. This used to be my PLACE as a teenager. Fourteen year old me would sit at this table I’m at right now with her sparkling lemonade and her very colorful computer (rainbow keyboard) and do her school work.

I feel like it would be cool to walk through some portal right now, back to that time - as who I am now - and sit myself down across from that precocious fourteen year old and help her through one of her quizzes or essays. She’s a smart girl though, and she’s not a fan of help. She might push me away. Honestly, I don’t know what she’d think of me, if I’d be any use to her. I don't know whether I’d be someone she looked up to or if I’d fall short of her standards. What would I tell her about our life now? I’d probably start with her peers, tell her what they’re up to and who she’s still close with. I’d tell her our voice got better and she doesn’t have to hate herself so much because she’ll figure it out eventually - I don’t wanna tell her how she figures it out though. I don't wanna tell her about how she finds her artistry or tell her about the friends she makes who finally make her feel worthwhile. Thinking about it now, all I want to do is comfort her a bit. I also don’t wanna spoil the good - I want it to come as a wonderful surprise for her, the way it always is for me! I don't wanna tell her the bad things that are gonna happen because the knowledge of it won't give her any more control, it will only give her anxiety and trust me that’s the LAST thing that kid needs more of. I refuse to rob her of her present moment. I’ll just assure her and let her live.

I’ll tell her all the things she’s doing right, and that life gets better each year in one way or another, I won’t be specific, because there are some things I’d kill to experience for the first time again; winning my first dance title, or meeting my best friend, the psychic I met in the uber, my first standing ovation, what truly appreciating myself for the first time felt like, my first kiss, first song release, solo traveling to Europe for the first time and hearing all the accents as I stepped off the plane, the love story I couldn’t have made up if I tried, every insane twist of fate I’ve experienced since I was her. I need to leave them out, hopefully my excitement for her to keep living will be enough (but we struggle with faith without facts sometimes so we’ll see)

Now I’m kind of wishing a 27 year old me could come sit down across from me right now, here in 2023, and Just smile, give me a pat on the back or an assuring hug and just talk to me about nothing important. Tell me I have so much to look forward to. Not tell me what or who I lose or gain, not make me question anything I don’t need to. Just tell me that I’m doing fine, and give me the encouragement I’m really needing these days to keep going.

If present me said those things to myself, would I believe it? I honestly don’t think we fail at loving ourselves, I think we fail at believing the love we give to ourselves. It never seems to be enough assurance.

Happy Love Month,

- Ash

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